Gnocchi with Butter, Tomato, and Fresh Basil Sauce

This past Tuesday was pretty rough.  It started out just fine-- breakfast cleaned and put away, a trip to the vegetable stand and grocery store, a baby taking a nice, long nap, and then a trip to Starbucks for me.  Every Tuesday, Micah works from home and gives me the option of going out with my computer to spend some focused time on my little business venture, and I snap up the chance to spend some quality time designing while on a frappuccino-induced sugar high.  And this week's was a very productive sugar high, until it came time to leave.  And then, the world came crumbling down because I couldn't find my keys. They were gone, nowhere to be found, and completely missing.  So I called Micah and said hey, I've got a little problem here, but it's under control and I'll be a few minutes late.  And he, being very used to me losing the keys, my phone, my wallet, or my head, said sure, let me know when you hit the road. Fifteen minutes later there were still no keys.  There were two very nice gentleman helping search, and several trash cans that had been dug through and re-dug through (eeewww), and a lot of tours of the shop with heads cocked to see underneath tables, but no keys.  And then, when on the verge of a nervous breakdown, I was handed the keys from the bottom of a trash can that I hadn't even put my cup in.  Apparently, I walked over to it and threw my keys away without any recollection of doing so, put my cup into a different trash can, and walked out the door.

So that was dramatic.  Then I came home to make dinner and started on my first gnocchi ever, took out my beloved Le Creuset dutch oven in which to boil them, and discovered that it had burnt nastiness on the bottom, left for me by whomever stayed at our house left.  Let's just say I didn't take it very stoically.  And then I kinda messed up the gnocchi (ONLY three tablespoons of the eggs, not all of it.  Or you add a lot of extra flour, and things get kinda gummy).

But about an hour later, as we sat down to eat, I realized that though these things are frustrating, they don't really matter that much.  Keys get found, pots get scrubbed, and there's a lot more chances to make the gnocchi perfect.

Gnocchi with Butter, Tomato, and Fresh Basil Sauce

I used a Giada De Laurentiis recipe for the gnocchi, and though it didn't turn out perfect the first time the recipe is simple and straightforward.

Serves 4

Gnocchi

  • 1 lb. cooked potato flesh (cook in microwave for 12-15 minutes and scoop white flesh from inside)
  • 3 Tbsp. beaten egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, with more for dusting

Sauce

  • 6 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 5-10 leaves of fresh basil
  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

For the gnocchi, mash the potato well and add the salt, pepper, and 3 Tbsp. of beaten egg.  Combine well.  Mix in the flour until a dough is formed, and knead until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Next, divide the dough into four sections and roll each into a rope about 1/2 inch diameter.  Cut into 1/2"-1" pieces, and roll each piece over the tines of a fork to create ridges.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and drop the gnocchi in.  Wait until they rise to the surface (about 1 minute), and then continue to cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes longer.

For the sauce, cook the butter in a pan until it starts to brown, then saute the garlic until tender.  Add the basil and tomato and cook until both are tender.  Quickly stir in the cream, and once it has cooked with the butter for a minute add in the Parmesan cheese.  Spoon over gnocchi and serve immediately.

Happy eating!

Optional: I also cooked two sweet Italian sausages and added them chopped to the gnocchi before spooning the sauce over.

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